Forget election night results. Answers might take days or weeks in some L.A. races, weeks or months in others, and not at all in others, as this race illustrates.
The Los Angeles City Council race between Mark Ridley-Thomas, the council member who will become the city’s next mayor after the November election, and Kathryn Sheets, his challenger, is set for Thursday’s election. The two are running for the seat held by Jan Perry, who won a six-year term in a race against fellow council member Kevin Bonin, who is term-limited.
Perry’s seat has been a revolving door of council members for more than a decade. From 2001 to 2006, she served a full four-year term on the council. Then, in 2006, she switched parties and ran for mayor against the incumbent, James T. Butts. At the time, when she ran for mayor, the seat had become more of a patronage post for the city’s most powerful political players.
Bonin won the election, which made him the city’s first Democratic mayor. Perry then stepped down from her post as council president to run for mayor again as a Republican, but she ultimately lost the election. In 2008, she ran for re-election but lost to Toni Foscarie, who was then appointed to the council. The seat changed hands in 2009 when Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa named Perry to become council president.
In 2012, Perry lost a bid for another term, this time to Bonin. He stepped down from his council post in 2014 to run for mayor again as the city’s representative in Washington, D.C., but lost to Villaraigosa in the 2014 election.
In 2015, Perry once again lost her council post to Bonin, this time by a 2-1 margin. (Both Bonin and Ridley-Thomas won reelection as council members in 2016.)
In 2016, Bonin challenged Ridley-Thomas for the mayor’s seat. Last November, the election proved competitive, with Ridley-Thomas holding onto his seat with a